ALLIANCE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AND ENTERPRISE
INCREASING COMMUNITY COLLEGE PARTICIPATION
IN MOBILITY INITIATIVES INCLUDING STRATEGIES TO INCREASE PRIVATE
report prepared with support from Human Resources Development Canada by
Edward B. Harvey, PhD, President, Alliance for Higher Education
and Enterprise in North America and Professor of Applied
Social Research and Policy Studies, University of Toronto
overall terms, the results of this study indicate that many Canadian community
colleges take a positive view of the opportunities and benefits related
to international activities. However, there is considerable scope for
expanded college involvement, notably in the area of mobility programs.
With particular reference to the Program for North American Mobility in
Higher Education operated by HRDC, the study identifies a number of policy/program
actions that could enhance college involvement.
percent of colleges responding to the study survey stated that institutional
and curriculum internationalization is an official objective of their
institution. Nearly 63 percent report active relationships with U.S. and/or
Mexican institutions. Ninety-six percent say that existing international
linkage activity has been beneficial for their college. With respect to
proposals by the new Mexican government to expand its commitment to education,
science and technology, nearly 67 percent of college respondents "strongly
agree" that these new directions will create opportunities for the
Canadian community college sector. 29.6 percent of respondents "agree
these positive indications, there is scope for improvement. With reference
to the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education, 25 percent
of responding colleges had been successful applicants to the program,
17.9 percent had been unsuccessful applicants and 57.1 percent had not
applied. In this connection, it should be noted that responding colleges
identify the two most important funding sources for international activities
as the federal government (85.2 percent) and their home institution (also
connection with the Program for North American Mobility, the survey results
identify various participation/success barriers experienced by colleges.
Nearly 77 percent of respondents agreed that a major obstacle to participation
in the program is locating the requisite number of partners in the U.S.
and Mexico. Some college respondents suggested the number of partners
be reduced. Eighty-five percent said it would be "very helpful"
to have a database on potential partners.
respondents also expressed concern about the time and costs involved in
preparing proposals for the Program for North American Mobility. Seventy-four
percent "agree strongly" that the cost of proposal development
is "a major obstacle". Nearly 26 percent "agree somewhat".
College respondents would like to see HRDC address this barrier by providing
seed funding for proposal development. Just over 69 percent felt that
"up to $10K" seed funding would be appropriate. Thirteen percent
suggested between $10L and $20K. Just over 17 percent proposed seed funding
of over $20K. College respondents are particularly concerned about being
able to make a site visit to potential partners. Such a visit is viewed
as "very important" by 85 percent of college respondents.
respondents are concerned about other cost issues as well. They consistently
make the point that college operating budgets have little or no slack
and that institutions experience significant difficulty dealing with the
basic coordination costs involved in the type of projects supported by
the Program for North American Mobility. Ninety-six percent of college
respondents "strongly agree" that HRDC should allow a certain
percentage of the mobility program budget to be used for such basic coordination
costs. Just over 30 percent suggested up to 10 percent, 39 percent proposed
between 10 and 15 percent and just over 30 percent suggested over 15 percent.
the nature of their mission, colleges have regular contact with private
sector organizations, often for the purposes of work/study programs. However,
it was also pointed out that only a relatively small sub-set of such private
sector organizations would be likely to have an interest in mobility project
partnering with a college. As with the issue of locating education sector
partners, the development of and access to databases on potential private
sector partners was seen as an important part of the solution.
study results point to the following areas for further consideration:
Consideration should be given to the possibility of providing colleges
with seed funding for the purposes of proposal development for any competitive
funding programs aimed at increasing academic mobility. A clear "letter
of intent" protocol would have to be developed to ensure standards
and accountability. Up to $10K in seed funding would appear to be a reasonable
Consideration should also be given to the possibility of permitting a
certain percentage of the program budget for any competitive funding programs
aimed at increasing academic mobility to be used for basic coordination
costs. Between 10 and 15 percent of program budget would appear to be
Consideration should be given to further activities designed to develop
databases that would help potential program applicants to identify possible
partners in both the education and private sectors. There may be a possible
link here to database development work currently being carried out by
the Alliance for Higher Education and Enterprise in Canada, the U.S. and
Early consideration should be given to various steps that could increase
the formation of community college/private sector partnerships in mobility
the study results show, federal funding is of great importance to college
mobility initiatives. Federal support is the most likely path by which
colleges can develop the experience and capabilities that would make
them of interest to potential corporate partners. The hard reality is
that corporations are highly unlikely to fund the developmental aspects
of gaining this experience and capability.
Consideration should be given to the preparation of written materials
that would provide colleges with background and guidance in several key
areas: (a) making successful applications to mobility programs; (b) understanding
the roles and responsibilities of partners in mobility program projects;
(c) how to make effective approaches to potential private sector partners;
(d) how to make a business case for mobility initiatives and bilateral/trilateral
programs have the potential to be used as a tool to move colleges toward
a higher level of motivation to seek out and form private sector partnerships.
The mechanism would be to attach to the funding process requirements
designed to foster this outcome.
have access to the private sector through their coop program activities.
These existing networks could be more effectively exploited for mobility
said this, however, it must be recognized that only a certain proportion
of college private sector contacts would have an interest in mobility
initiatives. Although a North American view is developing in Canadian
business, by no means all corporations have it and there is much sectoral
variation. That is why, in point 9 below, we recommend that a more sectoral
approach be considered in future mobility program calls for proposals.
will require support and guidance to achieve this agenda. Colleges require
a better understanding of how to approach potential private sector partners,
how to make a business case for mobility initiatives, and how to communicate
and promote the benefits of bilateral and trilateral activities.
These written materials would provide a foundation for a HRDC assisted,
Alliance for Higher Education and Enterprise led workshop that would bring
together selected colleges and private sector representatives with the
objective of defining and launching a small number of highly achievable
demonstration projects that would provide a cornerstone for greatly expanded
future college/private sector cooperation. The choice of colleges and
private sector representatives would be shaped by sectoral considerations
- that is, participants would be selected from sectors with the greatest
potential for producing successful demonstration results.
research also points to certain areas that HRDC might wish to consider
in connection with its future approach to mobility program initiatives.
(1) In future reviews of the Program for North American Mobility in Higher
Education, HRDC officials should explore the feasibility of re-designing
certain program features to increase college accessibility. The principal
areas of program re-design involved include possible reduction in the
number of partners required and adjustment of project timelines to better
harmonize with the realities of college academic schedules.
Consideration should be given to taking a more sectoral approach to future
mobility program calls for proposals. This would entail HRDC, in consultation
with the private sector, identifying high priority/high success potential
sectors for mobility projects (e.g. environmental management, tourism,
information technology) and earmarking a certain proportion of funds for
projects in these sectoral areas. HRDC, quite possibly in collaborations
with NGOs like the Alliance and the ACCC, could feed back to the college
sector strategic information on possible private sector partners. In this
way, the HRDC mobility programs are used to develop a critical mass of
capability in the college sector. The ultimate goal of this strategy is
to get the private sector to directly support mobility initiatives.
America is rapidly evolving into a continental economy. Both policy developments
(such as NAFTA) and the new information technologies are driving this
rapid internationalization. Human capital is central to the new economic
arrangements. There is an accelerating demand for workers and leaders
with a cosmopolitan world view and associated communication skills. Mobility
programs, such as the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education,
are strategic tools for building this pool of talent. With respect to
the Canadian community college sector, this study clearly shows that much
remains to be done. The investments required, however, are not simply
investments in the college sector. They are investments in the competitive
future of the Canadian economy.
THE NORTH AMERICAN INSTITUTE
Sen. Jack Austin
The Senate of Canada
140 Wellington Street, Room 304
Canada K1A 0A4
Email: [email protected]
708 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Email: [email protected]
Amb. Jesus Reyes Heroles
Colonia del Valle
Mexico DF 03020
Tel: 011 52 555 639-3791
Fax: 011 52 555 639-4624
Email: [email protected]
2002 - 2017 The North American Institute
North American Linkage
Activity in Canadian and US Institutions of Higher Education (Acrobat PDF)